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The Left Wants Political Fights to Be About Identity, the Right Wants It to be About Ideas

Carolyn Kaster

The left and right consistently look past one another during arguments. One can’t seem to see the points of view of the other nor do they seem to want to.

I think some clarification about this is necessary here. Much of the left can’t seem to understand the motivations and perspectives of the right, mostly in part because they’ve been instructed not to. The task is to write them off as evil, intolerant, and hyper-traditional, and that if they had their way we would go back to a dark age of slavery, the subjugation of women, and burning people at stakes because we think they’re witches.

This is, of course, absurd, but I’ve run into too many people who really believe this stuff for me to say the extremes are the exception to the rule. I mean, when you have noted leftist figures openly referring to people like Tucker Carlson as a “white supremacist” as if they truly believe it, you know you’re dealing with some very real brainwashing.

Meanwhile, the right actually does understand the left’s perspective…we just think it’s really stupid. We think that because a lot of what they claim is demonstrably false, and moreover, their solutions are irresponsible, not well thought out, and ultimately destructive.

To give you an idea, let’s take the left’s claim of “systemic racism.” It’s the buzzword they use to describe how our nation is geared to work against black people and for white people in any given subject. Jobs, housing, education, and more are all tiers below white people for the black community, and they’ll come up with statistics and stories that back them up. How can conservatives deny hard evidence?

But conservatives don’t deny the hard evidence. If they haven’t been massaged by incomplete data and biased researchers (which is often the case) the facts are paid attention to. However, conservatives don’t settle on these facts alone. They typically dig deeper and try to understand what’s causing these numbers much like a doctor uses symptoms to determine the underlying disease. “It’s racism” doesn’t quite cut it for us, especially in this day and age.

Sticking with our example, oftentimes conservatives will look at economic issues faced by the black community and then try to trace these economic issues back to certain policies that may be in place that are making these conditions fester. Our solutions are meant to treat the disease as well, which does involve discomfort, but ultimately they improve the situation.

The left is focused on treating symptoms, which only exacerbates the problem.

In today’s western culture, identity has begun reigning supreme in the left’s concerns resulting in it being the primary lens through which mainstream culture views things. If any tragedy or atrocity happens such as a mass shooting happens, the first thing the left asks is “what color were they?” The right’s initial reaction is “were they in a place where people could have guns to shoot back?”

In terms of economic disparity between black and white people, the left’s automatic reaction is “because the system is set against the black race.” The right’s reaction is “why the policies that are clearly causing this still in place and why are they being pushed?”

Even in media, when the left says “why isn’t there more representation for LGBT/POC/etc,” the right is asking why creators aren’t more concerned with good storytelling and natural characters.”

Where the left wants people hired based on diversity, the right wants to hire people based on merit.

Ultimately, we have to look at who is actually looking to solve the problem. Putting a band-aid over a broken arm won’t heal the arm, but that’s the left’s approach to correcting the issues we come across.

But in the interest of thinking like a conservative, let’s get down to the bottom of why the left thinks in these terms.

The bottom line is that trying to sort out ideas is more difficult than claiming racism is the cause and then calling it a day. It’s especially more difficult when the policies you enacted are playing a large role in contributing to the issues. Therefore, the left would much rather distract from the real problem by pointing to one that seems correct on the surface. What’s more, if the distraction is outrageous enough, you can get people to ignore counter-arguments.

In other words, the people in charge know it’s not an issue of identity, but it’s much easier to convince people that it is a racial issue than continue to try to convince them of ideas and approaches that clearly don’t work. They actively mislead the public in the interest of maintaining power, and in the meantime make villains of their political opponents whom they say are responsible for the attacks on those with certain identities.

The issue for the left is that eventually, the identity game will stop working as well. They’ll have to find a different approach as the majority become wise to its game plan. Ideas will always outlast identity.